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Blog: The PBH Free Fringe Programme Album

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Last time we went to Edinburgh, with Moon Horse VS The Mars Men Of Jupiter, we did it as part of PBH's Free Fringe. This is a WONDERFUL organisation which books loads and loads of venues and GIVES spaces to people who apply to them. The venues don't charge for people to use the rooms, performers don't pay the organisation for sorting it out, and punters don't pay to get it in. It's a BEAUTIFUL thing which makes sure you don't have to pay TWELVE POUNDS to see some comedy, and makes sure the Fringe is still open to ODD and AMAZING stuff that otherwise couldn't afford to do it.

We had a WHALE of a time and are VERY happy to be back with them again this year. The only difficulty they have is that there are some things that DO need to be paid for, one of them being the PROGRAMME that lists all the shows. The organisation refuses to take money from the ACTS to advertise in it as that would involve a) PAYING b) some shows getting more coverage in the programme than others, when it's meant to be EQUAL. This means that they have to get the ACTS to get involved by either selling advertising to BUSINESSES or putting on benefit shows.

I haven't the first CLUE about how to sell advertising space, and if I put on a benefit show it would a) be a HUGE FAFF and b) probably raise about 20p, so I had ANOTHER idea: An Online Compilation Album! If I could round up a batch of PALS to donate tracks, we could all publicise it a LOT, flog a PILE of them at a FIVER each (or more if people wanted) via Bandcamp, and hand the CA$H over to PBH and co. Peasy, right?

Funnily enough, it turned out to be so! I asked Mr Buckley-Hill himself and he was fully supportive. I'd hoped to link the CA$H bit directly to THEM, but they've had some problems with their PayPal account so it's going to have to come through ME. I'd rather we didn't have to do it that way - I have VISIONS of Father Ted protesting that the money's "resting" - but I guess things would operate in a similar way in the real world with the CA$H from ticket sales at a GIG.

It did lead me to think about TIMESCALE, and I decided that I'd put the album on release for six weeks ONLY - that gives enough time for the word to get out, but adds some URGENCY and means we can get everything SORTED, on the admin side, in good time. It also means that people can donate tracks that they might want to USE later on, as the whole thing will be taken down at the end.

With this in mind, yesterday I emailed pretty much EVERYONE (that I have an email address for) who's ever done Totally Acoustic, along with a few other people, and got a GRATE response. Less than 24 hours later I've got nearly half an album's worth of tracks ALREADY, with promises of MORE to come. I'd like to make it a DOUBLE album, mind you, so there's still a lot of nagging to do, but it was HUGELY encouraging.

It reminded me how much EASIER things are with the Modern Internet - you used to have to BEG and RING people for stuff, which they would POST on CDs, but now they can ZAP you a track via Dropbox or similar. It's AMAZING! It was also a delightful reminder of how NICE my Pals In ROCK are. In DARK MOMENTS I have sometimes thought "You have spent nearly 20 years in ROCK, Hibbett, and for what eh? Where is that Swimming Pool and MANSION you were promised?" but at times like this, where LOVELY people LEAP into action, I am reminded of how much I have GAINED through the aforesaid KRAZY WORLD OF ROCK.

Anyway, the PLAN is to have it all sorted and released on bandcamp at the end of next month - there's some ACE stuff on it already and hopefully more to come. Stand by for EXCITING NEWS, as it happens!

posted 29/1/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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